Sports massage is a practice designed to help ease pain occurring in the body typically caused by intense physical activity. This is achieved using a series of deep tissue techniques to stimulate the healing process.
Sports massage was originally designed with athletes in mind to prevent and relieve aches, pains and stress from their vigorous and demanding regimes, but non-athletes also have much to gain from a professional sports massage.
One main advantage of this technique are its cardiovascular benefits. Sports massage works by increasing venous flow and oxygenation of the body. This increase in circulation and venous flow also helps in the elimination of toxins from the body tissues. In addition, the increased blood circulation helps to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and increase the quality and speed of your recovery.
As a result, your muscles are able to relax allowing for better flexibility and range of motion, which can have a positive effect on your overall performance. A more relaxed, physical and mental state allows for better focus and concentration, a good thing at any level of activity, whether it be at your desk or in the gym.
A sports massage often involves a different pace of massage ranging from fast and slow depending on what the tissues need and what activity you practice, stretching and deep massage techniques are also used.
Like exercise, the benefits are cumulative, meaning the more regularly you receive a massage, the more you’ll feel it’s benefits. A common recommendation is once or twice a month.
For specific events, a sports massage designed to aid your performance one or two days prior to the race and another to aid your recovery and reduce the minor injuries picked up on competition day, are often recommended.